The fortnightly Essential Research poll includes the pollster’s more-or-less monthly reading of the leadership ratings, which record a four point increase in Scott Morrison’s approval rating to 65% and a two point drop in disapproval to 28%. Anthony Albanese is respectively down two to 40% and steady on 33%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister increases slightly, from 51-25 to 52-24.
Also featured are the pollster’s regular questions on federal and state government handling of COVID-19, with the added twist of a question asking who respondents felt had performed better out of the Prime Minister and their Premier or Chief Minister. This found 52% favouring their state or territory leader compared with 30% for Scott Morrison. The poll nonetheless gives the federal government its strongest result for handling of the pandemic in at least six months, with 69% rating it good (up two on a fortnight ago) and 12% as poor (down two).
The state government results are little changed for the three states with passable sample sizes: the New South Wales government’s good rating is up a point to 72%; Victoria’s is down two to 59% (the state’s lockdown was announced on the third day of the six-day polling period); and Queensland’s is down two to 76%. Western Australia’s is at 88%, the highest reading in at least six months, after the conclusion of that state’s lockdown, which is up eight on the previous poll, conducted shortly before the lockdown began. However, here the sample size is below 200 and the margin of error as high as 10%. The same applies to South Australia’s 79%, down one on last time.
The poll also has questions about Craig Kelly’s recent behaviour, although I wonder about a question wording that says Kelly has been “sharing Covid-19 misinformation”, the consistently negative tone of the propositions being put to the respondents, and the lack of clear response options along the lines of “who’s Craig Kelly?”. The results find 41% agreeing that Morrison has showed poor leadership, without offering clarity on how many disagreed and how many had no opinion, and 56% agreeing Kelly was “more interested in sharing Covid-19 misinformation and building his media profile than representing his constituency”.
The full report features still further questions on COVID-19 and one on a 2050 net zero carbon emissions target. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1109.